Accountant arrested in fraud scheme

An accountant accused of scheming to defraud his past employer of thousands was taken into custody Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Brian Perez, 34, was indicted on Aug. 24 and is accused planning to defraud his employer more than $160,000 by transferring money from his company's bank account to his personal account.

"While working as a bookkeeper, Perez allegedly devised a scheme to defraud his employer by unlawfully transferring funds using the Electronic Federal Tax Payments System from the company’s bank account to his personal taxpayer withholding account at the IRS," a news release from the office reads. "The indictment alleges Perez then filed his U.S. Income Tax Return and requested a refund of the overpayment."

He was taken into custody in San Antonio Friday and will make his first appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad, according to the release. He's also expected to appear in Corpus Christi, the release states.

Perez faces 18 counts of wire fraud, a count of tax evasion and another of money laundering. According to the release, the scheme occurred between March and August of 2015.

Perez also allegedly laundered about $59,000 in May 2015 and allegedly committed tax evasion.

"In May 2015, Perez allegedly laundered approximately $59,000 by using a financial institution to engage in a monetary transaction when he transferred criminally-derived funds from his personal checking account to an investment account," the release states. "The indictment also charges Perez with tax evasion for filing a tax return knowing he had received significantly more income than the amount stated in the return."

According to the release, each wire fraud charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years if convicted. He could face an additional 10 years for wire fraud and three years for tax evasion if convicted. The charges hold a possible $250,000 fine.


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